The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
A Decade in the Life
of
Whitesnake
David Coverdale (vocals, b. 9.22.49)

with Micky Moody (guitar), Bernie Marsden (guitar), Neil Murray (bass), Brian Johnston (keyboards), David Doyle (drums), Pete Solley (keyboards), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums), Cozy Powell (drums), Mel Galley (guitar), Colin Hodgkinson (bass), John Sykes (guitar), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Don Airey (keyboards), Richard Bailey (keyboards), Bill Cuomo (keyboards), Adrian Vandenburg (guitar), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Rudy Sarzo (bass), Tommy Aldridge (drums) and Steve Vai (guitar)

Following a disastrous tour of the UK in 1976, rock band Deep Purple broke up. Since contractually he could not perform live or record solo in Britain, vocalist David Coverdale moved to West Germany and released a solo album in 1977 entitled Whitesnake. Putting together a band by that name, he recruited guitarists Mike Moody and Bernie Marsden, bassist Neil Murray, keyboardist Brian Johnson and drummer David Doyle. The band's four-track EP, Snake Bite (1978), reached UK#61. As the band toured Britain, Pete Solley replaced Johnston, and then Solley was replaced by Coverdale's fellow Deep Purple alumnus, Jon Lord. In late 1978, the Trouble album climbed to UK#50, and in 1979 Love Hunter got as far as UK#29. Another ex-Deep Purple member, Ian Paice, replaced Doyle on drums. Some blamed the band's high turnover rate on Coverdale, whom Sounds nicknamed "Mr. Hire 'Em. Fire 'Em." In truth, the musicians backing front-man Coverdale were all very talented stars in their own right who sometimes simply could not get along. Coverdale described Whitesnake as a "bunch of moody bastards." Coverdale was always the guiding light behind the band. Something of a perfectionist, he was committed to making Whitesnake the best it could be -- and indeed, it became one of the most popular hard rock bands in Europe during the Eighties, even while an American breakthrough remained elusive until the release of Whitesnake 1987.


May 1980
Whitesnake has its first hit single with "Fool For Your Loving," which climbs to UK #13 and helps propel Ready An' Willing to the #6 spot on the UK album chart.
September 1980
Ready An' Willing reaches US#90, the band's debut on the American charts. "Fool For Your Loving" stalls at US#53. The band tours the U.S. for several months, opening for Jethro Tull and others.
January 1981
CFome An' Get It soars to UK#2 while the single "Don't Break My Heart Again" peaks at UK#17. The album does not fare well in the U.S., though a second single, "Would I Lie To You" dwells briefly in the American Top 40.
October 1981
Discord within the band leads to a breakup. A couple of months will pass before David Coverdale resurrects Whitesnake without Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray and Ian Paice. The new members are Cozy Powell (drums), Colin Hodgkinson (bass) and guitarist Mel Galley. Keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Micky Moody, both of whom had signed on in 1978 and then departed, also return.
December 1982
Saints 'n' Sinners reaches UK#9, while the single "Here We Go Again" peaks at UK#34.
August 1983
Whitesnake gets top billing at the Monsters of Rock festival held at Castle Donington (UK)
November 1983
Moody and Hodgkinson leave the band. Neil Murray returns to take up bass duties while ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes signs on.
February 1984
Slide It In makes UK#9, while the single "Give Me More Time" reaches UK#29 and the band embarks on tours of Britain and West Germany.
May 1984
Jon Lord leaves the band and returns from whence he had come -- as Deep Purple is resurrected.
July 1984
On the Geffen label, Slide It In peaks at US#40. In coming months, Whitesnake tours Japan, where they are hugely popular, and the U.S.
January 1986
Work on a new album is halted when Coverdale is diagnosed with a deviated septum. Following an operation and long convalescence, he returns to the studio in August.
April 1987
The long-awaited Whitesnake 1987 hits US#8 in one week, while the Coverdale/Sykes song "Still Of The Night" rockets to UK#16. Coverdale announces a new lineup including Adrian Vandenburg and Vivian Campbell on guitars, Rudy Sarzo on bass, and Tommy Aldridge on the drums.
June 1987
Whitesnake 1987 peaks at US#2, the band's best American showing, and becomes their first platinum album. It will eventually sell ten million copies worldwide. The band embarks on a world tour.
July 1987
The Coverdale/Sykes power ballad "Is This Love" hits UK#9. In December it will make US#2.
October 1987
With a new backing track, "Here I Go Again" from Saints 'n' Sinners (1982) climbs to the top of the US singles chart.
January 1988
Whitesnake's Trilogy video is certified platinum. In August, the band's Fourplay video will be certified gold.
February 1989
Coverdale marries actress Tawny Kitaen, who had appeared in the "Is This Love" video back in 1987.
November 1989
Slip Of The Tongue, with nine Coverdale/Vandenburg tunes, reaches the #10 spot on the US as well as UK album charts. The re-recorded single "Fool For Your Loving" climbs to UK#37 the following month. Another single from the album, "The Deeper The Love," will later peak at US#28. In 1990, Slip Of The Tongue is certified platinum.


Ready An' Willing (1980, Liberty)
Coverdale, Moody, Marsden, Murray, Paice and Lord
Fool For Your Loving
Sweet Talker
Ready An' Willing
Carry Your Load
Blindman
Ain't Gonna Cry No More
Love Man
Black And Blue
She's A Woman

NOTE: This album -- as were several subsequent ones -- was produced by Martin Birch, who also produced Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.

Live...In The Heart Of The City (1980, Liberty)
Coverdale, Moody, Marsden, Murray, Lord, Paice and Doyle
Come On
Sweet Talker
Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
Love Hunter
Fool For Loving You
Ain't Gonna Cry No More
Ready An' Willing
Take Me With You
Might Just Take Your Life
Lie Down, Stay Down
Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
Trouble
Mistreated

Come An' Get It (1981, Geffen)
Coverdale, Lord, Marsden, Moody, Murray, Lord, Paice
Come An' Get It
Hot Stuff
Don't Break My Heart Again
Lonely Days, Lonely Nights
Wine, Women An' Song
Child of Babylon
Would I Lie To You
Girl
Hit An' Run
Till The Day I Die

"As Come An' Get It makes plain, there was far more money to be made playing slick and predictable hard rock. That's not to say the album is a complete waste of time, thanks to catchy numbers like 'Hot Stuff' and 'Hit An' Run'."
Rolling Stone

Saints 'n' Sinners (1982, Liberty)
Coverdale, Moody, Marsden, Murray, Paice, Lord and Galley
Young Blood
Rough An' Ready
Bloody Luxury
Victim Of Love
Crying In The Rain
Here I Go Again
Love An' Affection
Rock An' Roll Angels
Dancing Girls
Saints 'n' Sinners

"What a difference a year makes. After releasing the thoroughly disappointing Come an' Get It, Whitesnake made up for it in spades with 1982's excellent Saints & Sinners, their best record yet."
AMG

Slide It In (1984, Liberty & Geffen)
Coverdale, Moody, Galley, Hodgkinson, Powell and Lord
Gambler
Slide It In
Standing In The Shadow
Give Me More Time
Love Ain't No Stranger
Slow An' Easy
Spit It Out
All Or Nothing
Hungry For Love
Guilty Of Love

"This album is indeed a monster, a far more direct, propulsive collection of songs than the rather patchy Saints 'n' Sinners recording of 1982. The songs are all upbeat -- mid- or fast-tempo rockers. The opener, 'Gambler,' drives along with a stomp reminiscent of Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger,' while 'Slide It In' and its companion track 'Spit It Out' are both in the AC/DC head-'em-up, move-'em'out mould, featuring gritty power-chord riffs with acres of space for the Powell backbeat and the nuclear-powered Coverdale voice." --David Sinclair, Kerrang!

Whitesnake 1987 (1987, EMI)
Coverdale, Sykes, Murray, Dunbar, Cuomo, Airey and Vandenburg
Still Of The Night
Bad Boys
Give Me All Your Love
Looking For Love
Crying In The Rain
Is This Love
Straight For The Heart
Don't Turn Away
Children Of The Night
Here I Go Again
You're Gonna Break My Heart Again
NOTE: This album was released as Whitesnake in the U.S., 1987 in Europe, and Serpens Albuns in Japan

"The creative side of Whitesnake covers a multitude of sins. We can go from the blues to the hardest rock."
David Coverdale

Slip of The Tongue (1989,EMI)
Coverdale, Vai, Sarzo, Aldridge
Slip Of The Tongue
Cheap An' Nasty
Fool For Your Loving
Now You're Gone
Kitten's Got Claws
Wings Of The Storm
The Deeper The Love
Judgement Day
Slow Poke Music
Sailing Ships

"Not passionate enough to evoke pleasure, not rude enough to spark contempt, it is an album that shies from both ends of the emotional spectrum. In short, Slip Of The Tongue is one dull date."
Kim Neely, Rolling Stone